Self Study. Notes on the Schizoid Condition
'At a time when most autofictions seek self-empowerment, David Kishik writes a plea for weakness. His risky autophilosophy exposes a vulnerable and constitutively dependent self. In witnessing himself wholeheartedly, Kishik critiques our present time, when global, net-based capitalism knows how to extract profits out of a deeply divided self. In light of his own fragility, he sees an opportunity to no longer reject the schizoid human disposition. Out of this emerges a new, anti-academic thinking and an aesthetic of a fractured existence.' - Kathrin Busch, Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics, Universität der Künste, Berlin
'Autophilosophy, in this ornate and seductive book, is an attempt by the author to explain himself to himself, to study his own work in the absence of others to do it for him, and to tell his story to himself. Digging in to the schizoid position, David Kishik examines his blind spot and finds himself there. Weirdly compelling, I encourage you to read this book without needing to know why in advance. Here you will find a not-self, not finding truth and not telling us about it.' - Jack Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure (2011) and Wild Things (2020).
'Philosophers, Kishik claims, are inherently schizoid, retreating from the world and others into an impersonal, imaginative realm. Philosophical writing only compounds the problem. Self Study is Kishik's attempt to escape this predicament, celebrating not so much the love of wisdom, which only deepens the schizoid condition, but the wisdom of his very particular and extraordinary love. In this elegant, elusive work of autophilosophy, crowning his five volume work of experimental scholarship, Kishik aims not only at knowing himself, but in losing himself, too. You won't find a recounting of the trivial life of an academic here; this philosophical selfie shows all we philosophical flies a way out of our fly-bottles.' - Professor Lars Iyer, Creative Writing, Newcastle University
'Where is the line between honesty and self-flagellation? Authenticity and exhibitionism? Between self-discovery and the dawning of its impossibility? This book treads that line. It is a courageous - bordering on self-destructive - attempt to convey oneself.' - John Kaag, Professor of Philosophy, UMass Lowell
'This is a superb study of the schizoid condition - of what is unique but also what may be universal in this peculiar variant of human existence. David Kishik considers from within what it is like to feel utterly isolated and apart, and treats these issues on a psychological and cultural as well as a philosophical plane. Self Study is an indispensable book for those interested in the agonies as well as the insights, the pleasures as well as the paradoxes inherent in human separation and self-consciousness.' - Louis Sass, Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University, and author of Madness and Modernism and The Paradoxes of Delusion